I have had chronic back and leg pain for years along with pain associated with fibromyalgia. I have a lot of degeneration in my spine as well as osteoporosis. I've had surgery to repair a herniated disk. I have recently been told that L5-S1 is so degenerated that I'm having severe pain from bone-on-bone friction. I was told that it would require fusion surgery but that the doctor didn't want to perform the surgery except as a last resort. I was told that I should take enough pain medication to keep me comfortable and to go back to the spine doctor and discuss surgery when I just can't live with it anymore. I've been taking oxycodone for years and I've built a tolerance. Two 10mg every six hours just doesn't resolve the pain anymore. Doubling that dosage does help, but it never gets rid of the pain completely. I think I could live with the reduced pain for a while though. My problem is that my primary physician is the one who has been prescribing the pain meds and he really doesn't want to continue doing so. My spine doctor doesn't want to get involved in the pain meds. Both have suggested that I go to a doctor who manages pain medication. I have spent the better part of a week calling doctors that are listed as Pain Management, but I have yet to find anyone who wants to deal with the meds. Unbelievable!! My pain is so intense at times that I can't even walk, yet these guys are afraid of giving me something that might just help. I would be happy to just have some relief for a short portion of every day, but that's not even possible with the amount I'm now prescribed. I suspect the doctors are all afraid of the DEA. And to think our President is suggesting that when older people are having certain health problems that they be given pain medication instead of having expensive surgery! That's just not going to work unless he does something to get the DEA off of the doctors backs. Sorry to complain so much but I am just totally frustrated by this whole situation, can you tell?? Does anyone know where I might find some help.....I live in Northern Virginia.
I am sorry for the hard time you are having. Unfortunately and I don't know why this is but the Southern States like yours are very hard states to get the proper care. In Wisconsin, our Primary Doctors are our Pain Management Doctors. I know this isn't so in states such as yours.
I feel that after the Micheal Jackson death, Pain Management Doctors are changing their ways. It was said on CNN and a few other news atations that there are many Pain Doctors getting out of the field or moving to Northern States. The only thing I can suggest is that you keep your current Doctor and explore other avenues (pain mgmt clinics).
You might just have to have that surgery if you can't get the necessary meds. Like the Surgeon said...If you can't live with it anymore" and I think that it's close to that time.
I wish I had beter advise for you. Please take care and good luck,
Welcome to the Pain Management Forum. I am sorry to hear about your pain and the problems it has brought to your life but I am happy that you have found us.
Every state and physician is different. I too am from WI where our PCP treat and follow their chronic pain patients. According to my PCP this is because we are such a rural state that the laws are a bit different. It would take me hours to travel to a PM Clinic.
I don't know how many PMP you have contacted but there must be one out there that is willing to treat you. Have you asked your PCP for suggestions or a referral? If not I would return to him and ask where you go from here.
I know it is discouraging and I encourage you to keep looking. Instead of going up on your current pain medication you may respond better with a change. Possibly an addition to your current regime such as a muscle relaxant or a medication to target and treat nerve pain such as Neurontin may also be beneficial.
I too would save surgery for a last resort. How successful they are varies. If it helps, many of us feel like you regarding our pain. I understand that I will never be pain free again but a few hours of significant pain reduction a day would be a welcomed relief.
You may feel free to vent here any time, we can relate. I hope you will consider becoming an active member of our pain management community. I have found great understanding and solace in this community.
Best of luck to you in your search.
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